Most at us, I'll venture, have at some point plotted to murder that tlatmate who finishes the last pint of milk, then disappears lor days, leaving the sink lull ol congealing dishes. Perhaps less common is the trauma of waking up next to someone you don’t remember meeting, and discovering you’re wearing each other’s underwear.
Though he insists he has not lound himself in the latter situation, 0| Parker lreely admits to basing his play Killers (seen here last Fringe) on experience of the lormer. As a Cambridge undergraduate, he shared a house with several others, one of whom ‘was never there. We used to sit and discuss what he might be up to and spin these weird, mildly paranoid lantasies.’ An inflated form of that paranoia is what drives the play's characters towards homicide.
This year, Killers is part at a double bill with Get Up and Be Someone, written for the same two actors, Martin Jones and Ben Miller. Taking male
; . -' 4 4 . ,
paranoia a step further, it dumps two blokes into bed in each others’ boxers, with not so much as a stained sheet to jog their memories, and leaves them to work out what happened.
‘The plays are meant to be lunny above all,’ says Parker, who has just been commissioned to write a sitcom lorthe BBC, ‘but I’m really lascinated by how men get on with other men, and how they lie and stult. They're also about the tear ol loneliness, about havlng to get on with each other.’ (Andrew Burnet)
Killers/Get Up and Be Someone (Fringe) Laughing Gas, Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428, 31 Aug—5 Sept, 2pm, £6/£7 (25/26).
This play doesn’t appear in the comedy section of the Fringe Programme, not because it isn’t extremely funny (it is), but because it‘s about lootball, and lootball isn’t comedy, it's life.
The Passion Machine’s production makes clearthe global signillcance ot lootball and the extent to which lite is merely a metaphorlortootball by including the whole ol Western culture within the show, lrom the perlectlon at Japanese hi-lis to the inlluence ol the film Zulu on the three-lour-lour lormation during a delensive game.
Admittedly, the production has its weak moments, becoming at times so last and slick that a combination ol Irish accents and bad acoustics render many of the lines inaudible, and energy and spectacle are continually relied upon to overcome a lack ot plot. However, anyone who is not proloundly moved by the sight at eleven healthy male bodies chanting and moving in perlect unison on a stage, anyone who
is not overwhelmed by the sound of an entire lootball squad swearing in rhyming couplets, anyone who rejects such things, is sick.
This production is among the most vital on the Fringe because it re-establishes the realm of the possible within the theatre. To transform Sunday League Football into ballet (with the poncey bits cutout) demonstrates the brilliant necessity of art.
Imagine the Brazilian soccer squad oi the 70s, and then imagine that every player in that team can outplay Pele, and only then does one have a sporting equivalent of this superbly choreographed production. (Stephen Chester)
Studs (Fringe) The Passion Machine, Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428, until 29 Aug, 2.30pm, £8 (£6.50), £7 (£5.50).
THE LION’S MOUTH
A young man sits in his 1 wheelchair, waiting for the woman from the 1 ‘agency‘ to call, but when she arrives he doesn’t I want to fuck, just to talk x ‘normally‘. One stilted i j
game of truth-telling later, the layers of deceit are being removed along with her clothes. ; That this interesting I situation does not realise I its full potential is only I partly the fault ofSally I Howitt and James | Ryland‘s over-controlled performances, since parts of the dialogue are simply too angry and hot-headed to deliver coherently without that control. The abrupt ending of Stephen Greenhorn‘s play, after only 30 minutes, comes just as you think that enough layers have been removed to examine truthfully the complex power relationships between men and women, sex and disability. (Thom Dibdin)
I The Lion's Mouth (Fringe) Killing The Cat. Diverse Attractions (Venue 11) 225 8961 , until i 29 Aug, 1pm, £3 (£1 .50).
ENTER THE TRAOIC MUSE
In 1782, Sarah Siddons was one of England’s most widely respected actresses. She made audiences weep with her tenderness, and frightened them so much that smelling salts were sold for hysterics and fainting ﬁts.
Taking extracts from some of Siddons’s most famous roles and using material from her letters and diaries, Carol _ Crowther‘s script portrays i her passionate ambition, her ordeals of fame, her encounters with Garrick and Sheridan, and the ﬁnancial burden of supporting her husband, children and relatives.
Pamela Buchner‘s performance is strong and controlled. She handles Siddons’s quiet and intelligent offstage character with assurance , whilst the high tragedy excerpts are an excellent illustration of the melodramatic convention of the day. (Michael Balfour)
I Enter The Tragic Muse (Fringe) Pamela Buchner, The Roxy (Venue 27) 650 8499, until 5 Sept (not 2) 1.30 pm, £4.50 (£3).
V THEATRE V COMEDY
LORD HUBERT ROSE IN THE TEMPLE OF
Mytheory,anyway, isthat 5
Lord Hubert, an addled inmate of the Closed Ward, is a Fringe Hound
; whohasseentwotoo many shows. Twitching, T dozing, gaping, grinning.
bemused, and befuddled by turns, the young Rose
ﬁnds lodging with Sonny
Spain, a landlady obsessed with sex and
Satan whose visitors‘ book runs to entries from the
- Marquis de Sade (‘Sorry
about the mess‘).
This offering (sequel to Lord Hubert Rose Succeeds, which can be seen in the evenings) is a
spruced-up medical revue :
with the added attraction
! ofa plot, generating a ; continuous chuckle of
amusement but no real belly laughs. Rather early in the day for the genre. (Wes Shrum)
I Lord Hubert Rose in the Temple of Doom (Fringe) Ferret/Strongarm Productions, Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550. until 5 Sept (not 1), 1.30pm,£5 (£4).
, w.e. YEATS:A ' DIALOGUE or
SELF AND SOUL
TriBeCa Lab’s exploration of Yeats‘s poetry transcends the production‘s seemingly limited appeal as fare for culture vultures. The company of five is presenting words that are tangible and articulated with a clear sense of meaning. One can‘t help but listen and be charmed by their commitment to the raw material. The poems are economically presented, cutting to the essence with limited movement and the occasional use of tableaux.
At the very least. this is a thoughtful Best of Yeats compilation which often
succeeds in illuminating the work of a poet whose reputation continues to inﬂate. Despite the use of multiple voices, this is probably not so much a dialogue of Yeats's ‘self and soul‘ as a multi-faceted Yeatsian monologue to the world. It doesn’t matter; we hear and understand. (Roberta Mock)
I W.B. Yeats: A Dialogue ol Sell and Soul (Fringe)
TriBeCa Lab, Randolph Studio (Venue 55) 225
' j 5366,untilSSept,2pm,
. V THEATRE ? VOICE OF THE SEA
I‘ve never been much ofa one for stuffy 18th century novels about passionate women stiﬂed by absurdly repressive patriarchal society. ldon‘t wishto
impose an agenda, but
9 there are newer, more
I pertinent absurdities for
! today‘s emancipists to
Kate Chopin‘s novel The A wakening follows a familiar pattern: boorish New Orleans husband drives wife to fall for younger man who sheepishly retreats to Mexico, leaving herto stumble towards a dangerous but liberating life on her own. Amy Finegan stages her own adaptation with an undeniable ﬂair and some enjoyable touches of irony, and the acting is mostly very good. But she hasn't pared down its rambling sub-plots enough to focus the dramatic qualities ofthe central narrative, with results which are overlong and, frankly. tedious.
Within this rather bloated production there may well be a simpler. more dynamic play struggling to get out, but it‘s not immediately obvious. (Andrew Burnet)
I Voice of the Sea (Fringe) Patois Theatre Company. Richard Demarco Theatre (Venue 22) 557 0707, until 5 Sept. 2.55pm, £5 (£4).
The List 28 August — 10 September 1992 23